I’ll be your sabaki for this renku. Thanks to Jim Kacian and John Stevenson for giving me this opportunity. I’ve learned the art of renku from Norman Darlington, Moira Richards, John Carley and Eiko Yachimoto. I’ve been writing renku from 2006 and I’ve been a sabaki of many renku trips and was the guest renku editor at A Hundred Gourds 5:2.
Hi everyone, it’s Thursday and I’m back.
Almost 70 candidates from 44 renkujin (renku poets) – a staggering number of hokku offers to choose from– for just one position. I like many and have chosen a few which slipped easily into my special list of favourites for this position.
the lake’s deepness…
– Brendon Kent
I like this verse a lot for its simplicity and depth, but still feel as a hokku it could take on more.
the path the moon makes
across the lake
– Polona Oblak
Good one with a crystal-clear image.
in the stretch of the tide
our parting steps
– Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
This offer struck me on my very first reading and stayed in my mind. But a huge ‘no, no’ in renku is to look back – ‘back lash.’ Look at the schema (at the bottom of this post) – with the love verses coming soon below, I couldn’t choose this as a hokku, for it does have traces of a love verse.
moon glimpses —
death seems not so far
out of reach
– Hansha Teki
Hokku can talk of death and other serious things we face in life – for what is a renku, if not a life’s tale and experiences – but I felt that a ‘rasika’ is too short a renku trip to begin on such a serious note.
a full moon
spreading like white gold
over the Pacific
– Giri Ramanathan
I can see this, especially because when I visited the US in 2015, I was taken to view the Pacific Ocean from a hilltop. What a magnificent view, and I can easily imagine the moon spreading like white gold … But I couldn’t choose this verse, for a hokku is all about the cut (the kire) that juxtaposes two images and this verse reads like a single sentence.
her first one lands
on the moon
– Marion Clarke
I enjoyed this hokku a lot for the play of imagination and one can’t easily dismiss this as a reflection ku, which has been done to death in haiku.
It’s definitely better to specify than to have the opening verse (hokku) begin with ‘her’ — which in a way might leave our readers wondering who this person is … ?!?
Ultimately the hokku for this rasika trip is:
tonight’s moon –
eight champagne glasses
catch the shine
– Lorin Ford
The reasons why I chose ‘tonight’s moon’: The number 8 here is simply delightful . . . 8 verses contributed by 8 renkujin; and rasika is a renku and renku is all about poets coming together; and so this hokku augers well. It’s about celebrations and I think it’s gotten off to a brilliant start!
Thanks to Lorin for this beauty.
1. long – hokku | autumn moon*
2. short – wakiku | non-seasonal*
Open to everyone, except Lorin Ford :)) In renku we don’t link to our own verse and also since Rasika is just an 8-verse renku, I don’t see one poet getting more than 1 verse in!
To begin with, there are two ways of going about the verses in renku.
1. By ‘degachi’ – competing for each verse.
2. By ‘hizaokuri’ – by turns.
3. In my experience it often works best to make some combination of the two.
4. In Rasika – we’ll go mainly by ‘degachi’ since it is a very short renku and if I go by the hokku offers, we might have many poets offering for each slot!
For those who are new to renku: the hokku is the ONLY verse in a renku that requires a cut – something we do when writing a haiku, which juxtaposes two images to create a whole. With rare exceptions, all of the subsequent verses should read straight through, sentence-like (If in doubt, please do read the finished renku in THF’s archives – it might help you to understand a sentence-like verse.)
As already mentioned, the first verse, known as a hokku is the only stand-alone verse in the entire renku – all other verses depend and lean on the previous one like a pack of standing cards, for their support.
Now about the wakiku and its role in renku: While each verse in a renku is linked in some way with its preceding verse, the relationship between the first two verses is especially close, with the second verse closely supporting, or buttressing the hokku, and usually remaining in the same scene. However, rather than reading on as a simple continuation of the narrative in the hokku, the wakiku will switch viewpoint, focus and mood. The hokku and wakiku together will set the strength, the ambience and the pace of the renku.
Progression and diversity are the essence of renku, and we should try to include a wide variety of things in nature and the world of humans.
A two-line verse. Move away from autumn and the moon – repeat no words or images already contained in the hokku (first verse). Remember in renku we don’t look back. Around 11 syllables or sound units. A non-seasonal verse.
I would like not more than 3 candidates per poet and please post them by Monday, 16th October.
The selected wakiku will be posted next Thursday morning (Eastern US time) and instructions will be given for submitting the daisan.
Thanks once again for all your lovely offers.
Keenly waiting to read your waki!
tonight’s moon –
eight champagne glasses
catch the shine
- long – hokku | autumn moon*
- short – wakiku | non-seasonal*
- long – daisan | winter*
- short – non-seasonal
- long – end of summer/love (rainy season)
- short – non-seasonal/love
- long | spring blossom *
- ageku | non-seasonal or spring *
The asterisks show the important verses in this renku.